Subscribe now

Sermons on the Acts of the Apostles

By Rob Roy Macgregor
August 2008 | Review by John Cook


Calvin pulls no punches. If belief does not end in an increasingly Christlike character, it is as good as no belief, no theology.

  • Publisher: Banner of Truth
  • ISBN: 978-0851519685
  • Pages: 688
  • Price: £57.20
Buy this book »

Book Review

These 44 sermons have been translated by Rob Roy Macgregor, a former professor of French and Latin at Clemson University. An excellent preface emphasises Calvin’s conviction that the purpose of scriptural revelation is to mould the life of believers into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. William B. Evans adds a helpful introduction and the book concludes with an index of Scripture references.

As a preacher, Calvin used vivid language to gain attention – ‘Hey! Don’t take another step. You are nearing the pit of hell!’ He also thoroughly applied God’s Word to expose sins and encourage true repentance – ‘We must be refashioned through repentance if we wish to receive remission of our sins’. Calvin criticises all false teaching and warns particularly against Romanism – denouncing the Mass as the most damnable idol that exists. However, positive exposition predominates. For example, in Acts 2: 41-42 Calvin identifies the three marks of the Church as ‘the proclamation of the Word of God, the Lord’s Supper, and communion together in true love’ – adding, ‘The Church deprived of the Word is but a chaos’.

One of the most beneficial sermons is based on Acts 4:24-51, entitled ‘The prayer of faith’, which contains this counsel: ‘If we want our faith to be strong, we must consider God’s power when praying and mention the promises which we rely on’.

Each sermon concludes with a prayer in which we, along with the original hearers, are led to respond with humility before God to the truths preached and thus receive benefit.

The clear modern language of these sermons will enable every believer to profit from reading them and this volume is warmly commended to all.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Coping with Criticism: Turning pain into blessing
Mostyn Roberts

Have you ever faced criticism and found it painful and difficult to cope with? In this short title, Mostyn Roberts addresses this common problem. The book began as a paper written for a ministers’ fraternal, and was later expanded into…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…